MB Between Rock and Hard Place

MB Between Rock and Hard Place

 During State Dept press briefing on April 7, spokesperson Sean McCormack, was responding to questions about elections in Egypt and recent political developments. The very vague responses by the State Department spokesperson left no doubt that the current U.S. administration is not willing to push the issue of reform any further in Egypt, and the status quo is the preferred policy by the U.S. at least for the remaining of its term in power.

It seems the Egyptian government got it right! Taking full advantage of a heated presidential elections season and ineffective foreign US policy during this time; the Egyptian government heightened its harsh measures against political opponents and continued to challenge the will of its people in achieving reform and create a democratic society.

Mr. McCormack says the US encourages lawful constitutional participation in Egypt’s political process  “according to Egypt’s law and constitution” adding that people should be able to vote for the candidates that are “legally and constitutionally on the ballot”. These statements obviously exclude the Muslim Brotherhood candidates, since the MB is banned by the Egyptian government which claims that allowing MB to exist violates the Egyptian constitution that prohibits the formation of political parties based on religion. Defying the logic as usual in the Middle East, the U.S government always chooses to support  authoritarian regimes in face of the popular demands seeking democracy and reform which further undermines the U.S. credibility and increases anti-American sentiment.

When pressed by more questions from reporters whether the U.S. will “speak with Hosni Mubarak about a lot of the crackdown that they’ve been doing”, Mr. McCormack reverts to the same line of Egyptian laws and constitution as if the U.S. government really gives a damn about these laws if they were not for its best interest.

“We have talked to the Egyptian Government about the importance of political and economic reform in Egyptian society, we have emphasized the fact that this is fundamentally going to be a question that the Egyptians have to answer for themselves within the context of their laws and within the context of their constitution”

So the argument is that since the MB is made “illegal”- ironically by its political rival- therefore, it is not allowed to compete for elections and play by the democratic rules which the U.S has been bragging about. The MB is simply being pushed to the extreme by those who constantly accuse it of being extremist in the first place. Its members are deprived of any legal or constitutional rights because they belong to an “illegal” organization, but meanwhile reject all MB attempts to become a legal entity.

 If the Muslim Brothers reject democracy then they’re terrorists and Jihadists, but if they declare their commitment to democracy, then they’re using democracy to hide their real goals in imposing Sharia laws and create Caliphate, without even giving them the opportunity to put their democratic credentials into practice!

It is a tough situation, and if it was not for the MB steadfastness and wisdom, the consequences would have been dire!

Mariam Ali